I have been looking at human development from the point of view of evolutionary biology and have found a theory that I think might help us understand our relationship to the rest of the primate family…
“To support the argument that we evolved by retaining juvenile features of our ancestors, Bolk provided lists of similarities between adult humans and juvenile apes:
“Our essential somatic properties, i.e. those which distinguish the human body form from that of other Primates, have all one feature in common, viz they are fetal conditions that have become permanent.
What is a transitional stage in the ontogensis [embryonic development] of other Primates has become a terminal stage in man” (1926a, p. 468).
Bolk (1926c, p. 6) provide[s] an abbreviated list in the following order:
1. Our “flat faced” orthognathy.
2. Reduction of lack of body hair.
3. Loss of pigmentation in skin, eyes, and hair.
4. The form of the external ear.
5. The epicanthic eyefold.
6. The central position of the foramen magnum (it migrates backward during the ontogeny of primates).
7. High relative brain weight.
8. Persistence of the cranial sutures to an advanced age.
9. The labia majora of women.
10. The structure of the hand and foot.
11. The form of the pelvis.
12. The ventrally directed position of the sexual canal in women.
13. Certain variations of the tooth row and cranial sutures.